20 miles down. 20 days to go.

With the marathon just around the corner, I am getting more excited and more nervous by the day! Just thinking about it puts butterflies in my stomach…

I’ve heard that if you’ve done 20, you’re ready for the 26.2.  I hope that’s true, because miles 14 through 18.5 were extremely difficult for me on Saturday.  My knee started to hurt from the beginning and it just got worse as the miles added up.  BUT!  I did it—30 minutes faster than last time too!

I’ve been a bit more concerned about the issue of time than I initially was—this journey started out on the mentality to “just finish”.  But, as the weeks and miles have added on, there’s been more thoughts and concern (& pressure) on time.  Now, I’ve never been a fast runner, I kind of have prided myself in the fact that I run slow, but I can run forever… which has obviously, been proven wrong.  I can’t run fast or run forever.  I’m not getting down on myself, it’s just simply the truth.  So, as people around me have been talking about their pace and their overall time, I’ve been getting more and more nervous.  Since I am the queen of excuses, I told myself, it’s because I had to stop training for a month, it’s because I have a real medical condition, but, simply put, I’m just a slow runner.  And you know what?  I’m just going to have to deal with that.  I have no doubt that with some different trainings, I could improve my time, but in the end, it’s not about the time for me.  It’s about setting out a goal to “just finish” and accomplishing just that.

I’ve put my body through some crazy stuff these past 15/16 weeks, I’ve experienced some intense and extreme pain, but I did it anyway.  Why?  I guess part of me needed to show myself that I can do anything I want to (through grace), as long as I stick with it.  I have never been one that has cultivated the essence of longevity.  I’ve gone to 4 different colleges to earn two degrees, I’ve held more job titles and positions than I can really fit on my resume, always thinking that the next one will be better than what I have now… So, I suppose this is what I needed, for myself.

As you can plainly see, running has given me a lot of time to figure out my weird inner workings and thoughts.  I hope I never stop that… thinking deeply and trying to understand myself and the world around me.

So, here comes my nagging plea for your donations to Team World Vision. 🙂 Yes, you can continue to expect it at the end of every running post I write.  With 20 days to go, I only have just over $600 to raise to meet my goal of $2000.  I’m getting closer and closer.  Please, PLEASE help me reach my goal!  You can just click here: www.firstgiving.com/alicewightman

too much to write about

I had a hard time deciding on what to write about today… the Palin interview, my knee that is currently in a lot of pain, Sean’s surgery rotation… oh, what to write about.

So… how about a short synopsis about all of the above?

1. Palin interviews

Anyone see the Palin interviews?  I was able to catch some of it on tv, but read most of it online or heard about it on air america.  What is there to say but, “charlie” about five million times.  Wow.  If we put in office someone who is as unprepared and inexperienced as Palin into the white house, I will just scream and pout for the next four years (don’t forget to register!)… as they cut taxes for the rich, maintain the crappy health care system that we already have, and continue to vote “no” to raising the minimum wage (among a whole host of other issues).  Give me a break.  She was defensive and hardly was able to answer the questions; how many times did Charlie have to ask the question about her foreign policy experience, or what she thought about the Bush Doctrine?  (Fact checking after the interviews has been fun!) You know, I think that if McCain and his people had vetted her, they would know how unsuitable she is to be running on the Republican ticket.  McCain seems to not know his running mate very well, as he has claimed that she sold her helicopter on ebay and stated that Palin had not requested ANY earmarks, when in fact, she did, $198 million in federal earmarks.

The argument still stands.  She is inexperienced and needs to go home.  The difference between Obama and Palin running on the tickets?  Obama was chosen by the people of the United States of America (including ME!), Palin was chosen by McCain.  Obama has served as a member of the senate for four years and a was a former state legislator of Illinois (with a total of 20 years of public service experience).  McCain claimed that Obama was “dangerously unprepared”—now that he has announced Palin, those ads have disappeared.  Hmmm… I wonder why?! Because who’s dangerously unprepared?  Palin.  With less than 2 years of experience as Govenor of Alaska and was Mayor of Wasila (population 5,550—basically the size of a SMALL university or a large high school)…  Needless to say, I can’t wait for October 2 (Biden/Palin debate at Washington U!).

2. MY KNEE

Not much to update you here, it hurts.  I skipped out on this weekend’s long run (12mi).  Not intentionally, I actually woke up at 445am on Saturday and got ready to go.  But, with all the rain, my group decided to cancel since none of us particularly wanted to be in pain from blisters for the rest of the week…  Then this morning I got up around 645 to go for the run, it started pouring again (what a waste of an energy bar) and then my knee hurt. Ha.  Maybe it was a sign?  I did get to go swimming Friday and Saturday though… which actually may have agitated my knee… who knows?  Next saturday is the last over 20 miler before the actual marathon.  Say a little prayer for us—if you remember! (www.firstgiving.com/alicewightman)

3. Sean’s surgery rotation

He is loving it! He doesn’t get to sleep, eat, talk on the phone, sit down, watch tv, hang out, do any leisure reading, or anything else that most of us (especially ME) take for granted… but he actually loves it.  I was so sure that he was going to be unbearable, cranky, grumpy and annoying during his surgery rotation (this is usually what happens to him with lack of sleep!), but he’s actually been… what’s the word?  Happy.  Which is amazing.  The other day he called me at noon while I was at work, we talked for about 2 minutes (mostly about meeting with the uninsured guy who hit our car to give him the estimates…another story) and then he said, “ok, gotta go scrub in for surgery”!!!  WHAT.  How did we get here!  What are we, 40 years old! 🙂  It was pretty cool.  So, to continue that surgery story, he did 2 surgeries that day, pretty much back to back and was in the OR (learning cool new words) for 8+ hours!  They did something with removing a gall bladder, and then something with a colon… (I am not really that good at listening when I have no idea what he’s talking about!)

So.  There you go.  Comment if you’d like.

21.5 MILES!

Today I embarked on what felt like an endless journey.  My faith, my sanity, my physical stamina were tested as I ran through 21.5 miles on concrete, gravel, asphalt, grass and mud… all through my favorite city.  I enjoyed the first 17 or so (miles), well, you know, as much as you can with ankle, knee, back, butt, and hip pain…

I had some great conversations with my running buddies.  We talked about our love for: running, our spouses, our dogs, and we even spent some time talking about politics (one of my favorite subjects!).  The time went by quickly… until mile 18.  (One buddy had to drop out because he got 2 huge blisters on the bottom of his feet…)  I’ve never really experienced hitting the “wall”.  But I am pretty sure that is what happened.  So with the minimal energy I had left, pain in EVERY possible area of my body from my waist down, and growing delirium, I arm pumped my way to 21.5 miles!  (Which at the time we thought was 20.25 miles, but later mapped it and realized it was 21.5! I LOVE those kinds of surprises)  Incredible!  The longest run I have EVER run in my life.  And I am SO THANKFUL, in so much pain, but still so thankful.

21 miles gives you A LOT of time to think and sort through your thoughts.  So, during the silent times in our run, my mind wandered all over the place.  Thought about the cute shorts that the girl who just passed me was wearing, when I should be putting on those fresh new running shoes, pain, how hungry I was getting, HOPE, how disgusting the little lagoon looked, more pain, how could McCain choose PALIN!!, what I should write about next on my cool new blog, that creamsicle gel was delicious–I can still taste it, how bad I need to pee, oh, but those bathrooms are SO smelly, but I REALLY need to pee…

I had pretty positive thoughts about finishing this run until the very end, when I thought to myself (and then said out loud), “why am I putting my body through this”.  The answer came when I finished; “that’s why”.  There’s something about pushing your body to the limits and being able to accomplish something that quite frankly, you never really tangibly thought was possible until recently.  And it’s all because God carries you through.  I am learning (slowly, but surely) that only through the grace of God are you able to do the impossible.

This run was an impossibility 5 years ago, heck, 1 year ago.  It was a dream, a “life goal”, something that I told myself I would do but didn’t really think I would be able to do it well, let alone, finish.  (Still have questions about the doing it well part…)  With just less than 5 miles left, the end is in sight, I can almost see it, breathe it, reach it.

The official date of this ridiculous thing called a marathon is on October 12.  It would be AMAZING to get some fan presence along the long route!  (Plus! Come catch a glimpse of Olympian RYAN HALL who will be leading our TEAM!)  Sean and I will already be hosting a couple of girls that are also coming in for the race (YAY GINNA!) So, if you need a place to stay, we always have more space…

Meanwhile, I have about 5 weeks left, one more (over) 20 mile training run in the horizon and then the BIG DAY.  With all of your generous donations, I am getting closer and closer to my goal of raising $2000 for TEAM WORLD VISION.  If you have already donated, THANK YOU SO MUCH; you have changed the life of a child in Zambia.  If you haven’t yet, I would SO appreciate a donation in ANY amount.  I would love to be able to achieve this life goal of mine, but I am more excited about what this money will do for the children and families living on less than a dollar a day in Zambia.  Where the life expectancy is 38 years old (compared to our 78).  So please check out my donation site at: http://www.firstgiving.com/alicewightman

In the mean time, I’m recovering from my early morning run…and enjoying the pampering from Dr. Sean! (SUCKKAAAA!) 🙂 (Got him to come back early from studying at school! Now, THAT is love.)

Sick.

If you were like me and watched some of the RNC last night, I hope you saw the same thing I did.  Amongst a plethora of disgusting negative attacks, lies, and blatant insults on those that support the opposing side.  I was most frustrated with the snide and smarmy remarks on Obama’s work as a community organizer.

Do people not understand what community organizing is?  It is “how ordinary people respond to out-of-touch politicians and their failed policies”.  It’s hard work.  Community organizers are people that are passionate and compassionate for the marginalized and the oppressed.  Community organizers work tirelessly to build a better community for the poor, for the ones that have been cast out and forgotten.  In fact, one of the reasons why I care so much and am such a huge Obama supporter is because of the fact that he has worked at a grass roots level.  He has seen with his own eyes and gotten his hands dirty. The trickle down theory does not work; change happens from the bottom up.  “Community organizing is the foundation of the civil rights movement, the women’s suffrage movement, labor rights, and the 40-hour workweek.  And it’s happening today in church basements and community centers and living rooms across America.”  It is people like Palin and McCain that completely ignore the need for social workers, social justice workers, community organizers, and builders, and child welfare workers, and domestic violence workers, and human rights workers.  They are why we are overworked and under-payed.  They are why we are burnt out and jaded.

So, get over yourself Palin. Get over yourself, McCain.  You have NO idea what it is like to be an ordinary person working and loving those that aren’t beautiful, those that don’t have money, those that have lost their jobs, those that have had their “unalienable” rights taken away, those that are hurting and neglected and abused.

What have you done for your city and state Palin?  Cut funding for special needs children, cut funding for pregnant teens, abused your power, and left your city in debt.  I can be just as sarcastic as you; but here’s the difference, I’m not running for the 2nd most important seat in our Nation.

Oh, by the way, the pledge of allegiance was not written by our “founding fathers”.  Ha.  Good one.

15 miles and counting…

On Saturday I ran 15.25 miles! (With bum knees and all!) I am getting more pumped up for the marathon by the day. I ran from my house to lake shore and then all the way up to Belmont and back. The first couple of miles was a bit of a struggle, you know, getting loosened up and all. At Belmont I caught a glimpse of my group running so I ran with them for almost all of the second half of my run… which was PERFECT! (Great site for mapping your runs)

My group is such an encouragement to me. We talked about our injuries (we all basically need new body parts) and about life in general. I have been so self absorbed with my own injuries that I hadn’t thought about the pain that others are enduring. What a great wake up call. I love my group because we all run at about the same pace. And when I am exhausted and starting to slow down, they push me to keep going…

Anyways, this coming Saturday I am aiming for 20 miles with my group. But if I stop at 18, I will still be happy. I’ll keep you posted on that.